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Voice Over : Male VS. Female for Explainer videos & Whiteboard Animations .

voice over

What voice over to use? Male or Female?

The Voice narration dilemma …

Have you ever wondered which voice over would suit your commercial, presentation or explainer video best ?
We know the reason why most ads feature women, but for some reason i assumed that Female voice overs are more effective and convincing than males one …
We have been creating explainer videos for many years, yet we never paused to reflect on which is more effective…
We have pondered on the difference between text and images, we compared the attention grab,comparing the 10% to 65% retention rate …

and yet we never really questioned the voice narration effect … until now …

It seams that studies on voice overs in TV and Radio ads have been already made, i think we can easily extrapolate it to Explainer videos and White board Animations.

Voice over gender influence studies :

Below i will try to describe and explain the findings published in Trends in Social Psychology by John Z. Arlsdale:
The study done on British media showed that men were almost twice more likely to do voice overs than women,
72.1% of men compared to 41% of women in the study. Even though the study also found that Women were twice more likely to do visual advertising than men, 59% of women compared to 27.9% of men.
Credibility wise 87.7% of males were depicted as authoritative compared to 55.7% of women.
Another study by Furnham and Skae -1997 found similar results for the above mentioned observations.
A study by Gilly – 1988 argued that advertising companies hire male voice over artists, because they believe that a male voice is more authoritative and convincing than a female voice.
Indeed, a study by Rosen and Howell- 1987 have found that male voice narrations are perceived more clearly than female ones.

At the end of the day it all depends on the voice, all voices are not created equal, but in general we can expect a 20% to 40% better results when using a male voice-over than when using a female one.

For more data and information on the subject of gender role in advertising, i would recommend the below studies:


List of studies of television advertisements:

Year Author Country Main Study Focus
1972 Dominick and Rausch United States Women’s roles
1974 Courtney and Whipple United States Gender focus
1974 Silverstein and Silverstein United States Gender focus
1975 McArthur and Resko United States Gender roles
1978 O’Donnell and O’Donnell United States Gender roles
1981 Manstead and McCulloch Great Britain Gender roles
1986 Harris and Stobart Great Britain Gender roles
1986 Livingstone and Green Great Britain Gender roles
1987 Rak and McMullen Canada Male and female interactions
1988 Bretl and Cantor United States Gender roles
1988 Gilly Australia Gender roles
1988 Gilly Mexico Gender roles
1988 Gilly United States Gender roles
1989 Furnham and Voli Italy Gender roles
1990 Radio-TV-Telecommunications Commission Canada Gender roles
1992 Mazzella, Durkin, Cerini, and Buralli Australia Gender roles
1993 Furnham and Bitar Great Britain Gender roles
1995 Leung Korea Gender roles
1995 Sengupta Japan Women’s roles
1995 Sengupta United States Women’s roles
1995 Wee, Choong, and Tambyah Malaysia Gender roles
1995 Wee, Choong, and Tambyah Singapore Gender roles
1996 Mwangi Kenya Gender roles
1996 Siu, W-S Hong Kong Gender roles
1996 Siu, W-S Singapore Gender roles
1997 Furnham, Abramsky and Gunter Great Britain Gender and children
1997 Furnham, Abramsky and Gunter United States Gender and children
1997 Furnham and Skae Great Britain Gender roles
1997 Siu and Au China Women’s roles
1997 Siu and Au Singapore Women’s roles
1998 Milner and Collins Turkey Gender roles
1998 Neto and Pinto Portugal Gender roles
1999 Kaufmann United States Men’s Roles
2000 Bartsch, Burnett, Diller and Rankin-Williams United States Gender roles
2000 Coltrane and Messineo United States Gender, race and children
2000 Furnham, Babitzkow, and Uguccioni Denmark Gender roles
2000 Furnham, Babitzkow, and Uguccioni France Gender roles
2000 Furnham and Farragher New Zealand Gender roles
2000 Furnham and Farragher Great Britain Gender roles
2000 Furnham, Mak and Tanidjojo Hong Kong Gender roles
2000 Furnham, Mak and Tanidjojo Indonesia Gender roles
2000 Milner and Collins Japan Gender roles
2000 Milner and Collins Russia Gender roles
2000 Milner and Collins Sweden Gender roles
2000 Milner and Collins United States Gender roles
2001 Bresnahan, Inoue, Liu, and Nishida Japan Gender roles
2001 Bresnahan, Inoue, Liu, and Nishida Malaysia Gender roles
2001 Bresnahan, Inoue, Liu, and Nishida Taiwan Gender roles
2001 Bresnahan, Inoue, Liu, and Nishida United States Gender roles
2002 Milner South Africa Gender roles
2003 Arima Japan Gender roles
2003 Ganahl, Prinsen, and Baker-Netzley United States Gender Roles
2003 Maher and Childs United States Gender and children
2003 Uray and Burnaz Turkey Gender roles
2004 Milner and Higgs Australia Gender roles